USARHAW competes in ‘Iron Chef’-style cookoff

| June 25, 2010 | 0 Comments

Sgt. 1st Class David Wheeler
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

Spc. Juan Tamez, food service specialist, 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, stuffs peppers, June 17, at the B Quad Culinary Laboratory on Schofield Barracks, during the U.S. Army-Hawaii Chef of the Quarter competition. ( Pfc. Darnell Collins | 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs)SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Most Soldier of the Quarter Boards are easy to prepare for; however, the Soldiers competing for the U.S. Army-Hawaii Chef of the Quarter competition realized just how hard it is to prepare for a cookoff with no prescribed recipes, a strict time limit, and mystery ingredient list.

“(Our competition) somewhat mirrors the ‘Iron Chef’ TV show,” said Master Sgt. Kal Shibata, chief, food operations noncommissioned officer, Headquarters Company, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. “We reveal the mystery ingredients, and then they have 30 minutes to come up with a menu, and two hours and 45 minutes to prepare four entrees.” 

While food service specialists are trained to strictly follow recipes when working at a dining facility, Spc. Juan Tamez, food service specialist, 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th TSC, welcomed this change to his day-to-day duties.

“I would rather be able to come up with recipes off the top of my head,” Tamez said. “I take pride in what I do, and if I come up with the recipe then it is mine.”

Coming up with a recipe from scratch was an easy task for Sgt. Robert Woodring, food service specialist, 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 

8th TSC, due to his years of working in a 

dining facility.

“I’ve been in the Army for 11 years,” Woodring said. “Spending all of that time in a DFAC, you cook a lot of different stuff. You learn a lot of recipes, and you get a lot of ideas that older DFAC workers pass down to you.”

Although the cookoff portion was the most exciting thing to watch, it only counted for one third of the entire competition.

“The scores from the cookoff will be added to the scores from an Army Physical Fitness Test and an oral board,” Shibata said. “Normally we just do an oral board, but this is the first time in several years that we have attempted this format.”

Another change in this competition comes from the Soldiers themselves.

“Because there is only one brigade in the 25th Infantry Division that is not currently deployed, and three brigades in the 8th TSC, we decided that it would create greater competition between the units if we did a joint competition,” Shibata said.

Unlike almost every other competition, though, winning isn’t the only reason to compete.

“This competition also gives the culinary team captain eyes on certain individuals who will be able to compete with the U.S. Army-Hawaii Culinary Team, which (begins training together) around the December-January time frame,” Shibata said.

The U.S. Army-Hawaii Chef of the Quarter winner will advance to the U.S. Army-Hawaii Chef of the Year competition in September. The winner will be announced at a later date.

Category: News

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